2011 Topps Update is widely recognized as the greatest modern baseball card set. The product contains rookie cards of Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Altuve, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Eric Hosmer , Mike Moustakas, and Charlie Blackmon.
At the time of it's release you could get 24 packs for about $50 retail. Today a sealed box will cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Hidden among the star studded rookie class are a few appearances by Andrew McCutchen that I like to chase after (that will be a pun for a future post). Last year I discovered that Cutch had a Cameo on the Jay Bruce All Star Game card so I set out to try and find parallels of that card to add to the collection.
Jay Bruce recently announced his retirement.
Because of how close Cutch and Jay Bruce were drafted along with being long time division rivals (and eventual teammates) I have written a few articles about Jay Bruce in the past. You can revisit them by clicking on one of the following posts:
Some other Jay Bruce related articles I suggest reading...
Tom Verducci recently wrote an article for Sports Illustrated discussing Bruce's retirement and the impact the shift is having on players.
Fangraphs also did an article on Jay Bruce and the incredible hot start he had to his career. Of course prospecting was a thing when he was beginning his career, but it is nothing like what it is today.
Could you imagine what his 1st Bowman Auto would fetch on eBay in this market if in his 1st week as a rookie? His first three games in the majors he went 3 for 3 with 2 walks, had a 4 hit game and scored the winning run, then hit a walkoff homer in his 3rd career game and somehow had a batting average of .577!!!!
So yes Jay Bruce didn't live up to the Larry Walker comparisons from his prospect days, but he still made 3 All Star Games, 2 Silver Sluggers, and collected 319 homers over his 14 seasons.
What are some memories you have of Jay Bruce?
If he was beginning his career, rather than ending it what player in today's game would you compare Jay Bruce to?